Former Windsor Spitfires forward Derek Lanoue doesn't get home much but he was in town earlier this week for the OFSAA boys and girls hockey championships hosted by St. Anne High School. "It was fantastic hockey." said the 32-year old who watched some of the games before attending the banquet as keynote speaker. "It's fun to be back in the hockey world."
Lanoue currently plays in a men's alumni league at McGill and hasn't played high level hockey since winning the Queen's Cup with the University of Windsor in 2014. Prior to joining the Lancers, Lanoue won the 2010 Memorial Cup with the Windsor Spitfires.
He shared his hockey experiences with about 800 players from across the province. Lanoue talked about his setbacks in minor hockey before joining the Spitfires in 2009. The biggest game changers in his life were finding a role on a team with future NHL'ers and learning how to process criticism. "In my daily work there's a lot of criticism with medical management." said Lanoue, who graduated medical school and is currently the Chief Fellow in the Department of Clinical Immunology and Allergy in Montreal. "Me having that experience and working with teams it's just invaluable skills in the hospital and I feel so fortunate to have had those experiences help me."
Another experience that helped shape his life was the Western Conference final against the Kitchener Rangers in 2010. The Spitfires trailed the best-of-seven series 3-0 against the upstart Rangers. Lanoue recalls being written off by a local media outlet. "Put a fork in us. We were done. I distinctly remember going for dinner (prior to game 4) and as team being like 'this isn't how it ends'. Windsor rebounded to eek out a 7-5 win in Game 4 and never looked back. They won twelve straight games, including a 9-1 blowout in the final against host Brandon, en route to their second straight Memorial Cup title. "It's a moment locked in my mind. It's a pretty great memory"
After sharing how his hockey experiences helped lead him to his current success in the medical field Lanoue concluded his speech by telling the players to, "Aim high and shoot low blocker."
Girls OFSAA medalists: Gold: Brooklin Bears Silver: St. Martin Bronze: Oakville
Boys OFSAA medalists: Gold: St. Brother Andre CHS Silver: Brooklin Bronze: Mother Theresa